SamIam the MC and Coolout Chris
SamIam the MC and Coolout Chris Credit: Courtesy Chris Hawkins

On Saturday, August 14, long-grinding Chicago hip-hop veterans Coolout Chris and SamIam the MC will drop a collaborative EP called Remote Control. Chris (real name Chris Hawkins) hit the scene in the early 90s as a rapper and producer in the underappreciated group Spalaney’s, and these days he’s in the duo Urbanized Music with Amina. SamIam sharpened his skills at the city’s freestyle open mike, then competed on big national platforms—in 2009, BET’s 106 & Park recognized his performances on the show by naming him to the hall of fame for its Freestyle Friday segment. Chris handles the production on Remote Control, and his rough-around-the-edges boom-bap is the perfect foundation for Sam’s workingman’s flow—advance single “Gutter” combines polish and grit. The duo perform at Subterranean on Saturday, August 14, to celebrate the release; their set is part of a hip-hop night called No Program Director, which also features DJ E-Double, Shon Roka, Moz Definite, and DJ Illanoiz.

  • “Gutter” is an advance single from the album Remote Control.

Interdisciplinary artist Sara Zalek debuted their self-described “promiscuously inventive” hybrid performance series ¡Hot Mess! at Elastic Arts on June 5, and that first bill featured several locals—among them saxophonist and electronic musician Luc Mosley, sound artist Norman W. Long, and composer Kyle Gregory Price—improvising and collaborating with artists contributing via livestream from as far afield as West Virginia and Taiwan. On Saturday, August 14, the quarterly series returns with another stellar cast of performers, including Chicago-bred filmmaker and performance artist Eryka Dellenbach, Florida artist Fereshteh Toosi, poet Noa/h Fields, and rapper and singer-songwriter Carolyn Carney, aka GoldGrrl, whose single “Ass Out Cash Out” has been bumping on Gossip Wolf’s stereo since she dropped it on YouTube in July. There will be two sets, one at 4:20 PM and one at 8 PM, and your $10 ticket gets you into either or both (and also includes access to the livestream).

On the last day of July, Chicago punk duo the Lipschitz released the rollicking Chevron, and Gossip Wolf is just catching up with it. The album’s playful, nervy songs ought to jingle the bells of anyone who’s keen on the mutant punk that’s been bubbling up from the midwestern DIY underground for the past decade.  v

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